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Australia: Cairns or Port Douglas?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Mr. Schnitzer, May 23, 2006.

  1. Mr. Schnitzer

    Mr. Schnitzer Angel Fish

    Going to be in either Cairns or Port Douglas for like 5 days... which place would be better? The question is for both diving and non-diving activities/things to do... and hanging out on the beach if possible.

  2. Travelnsj

    Travelnsj Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Temecula CA
    In Cairns there is the Kuranda rain forest which deserves a visit and go to the Yama Japanese Restaurant...best Sushi and Sake...I would not spend more than a couple of days in Cairns....Then head up to Port Douglas...nice beaches...none in Cairns....or do a liveaboard up to the Cod Hole out of Cairns.
  3. Darnold9999

    Darnold9999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Victoria BC Canada
    Depends on what you are looking for. Cairns is a party town. Port Douglas not as much. I preferred Port Douglas. But if I were single probably Cairns is a more interesting place. I don't believe Cairns has any beach, just the boardwalk. You need to go north or south for beaches and thare are lots of them.

    Day dives are a bit better out of Port Douglas, second the liveaboard for Cod Hole.
  4. dmblack58

    dmblack58 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    If you want to party then Cairns is the place. You can go to The Woolshed which is full of drunken backpackers looking to pick up. Port Douglas is a lot quieter and laid back. The diving is probably better out of Port Douglas but there still are some good trips out of Cairns.

    Have fun
  5. Zeeman

    Zeeman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Coogee Beach
    I'd vote for Port Douglas, for the above mentioned reasons. Having said that, Cairns to Port is only an hours drive...

  6. caymaniac

    caymaniac Orca

    # of Dives:
    Location: West - Michigan
    Cairns has Kuranda some animals and lots of aboriginal art, Port Douglas has the Habitat-less aboriginal art, more birds and animals. On the Skyway (Kuranda) you can take hiking trails when it stops in the rainforest, Port Douglas is quiet, Cairns has more noise. Cairns is more touristy, Port Douglas is alot smaller. Many Dive boats go out of Cairns, some dive boats & liveaboards go out of Port Douglas...the farther north you go the better diving is found (Osprey,Shark reefs, Lizard Island).
    We had a great time in both towns.
  7. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Cairns Australia
  8. slipslop

    slipslop Nassau Grouper

    i would choose port douglas. there is no beach at cairns just a palm fringed mud flat, lots of backpackers and lots of night clubs, pubs and partuy places. its a party place. Port douglas has 4 mile beach and is far more chilled out and upmarket. Kuranda is a tourist trap. everything you but there you cannget cheaper at the cairns night markets. the scenic rail and skyrail are great but the town is awful. rather do a trip to the atherton table lands.
  9. dmblack58

    dmblack58 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    When are you going to Cairns/Port Douglas?

    The beach might be off limits if it's box jellyfish season.
  10. pigletfish

    pigletfish Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York, NY
    We stayed in Trinity Beach, north of Cairns and south of Port Douglas. We had a rental car and drove to both towns, plus all points and attractions in-between!

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